Included with the release of Just War was a free disc which contains two original Bernice Summerfield stories; the very first original stories from Big Finish, in fact. The disc also includes an interview with Paul Cornell (who also contributes one of the CD’s plays) plus a musical suite (as heard in Just War) and trailer for the rest of the range.
The first of the two is a funny and enjoyable comedy written by Jacqueline Rayner, entitled Making Myths. The story starts off with Benny appearing on a live satellite radio broadcast talking about the oft-referenced Lost Mudfields of Agravan. Lisa Bowerman give another wonderful performance here; the skill with which she plays our favourite archaeologist is quite unnerving, almost as if Cornell had her in mind for the part all those years ago when he first created Bernice (although he had apparently visualised her as resembling a short-haired version of actress Emma Thompson). Sarah Mowat (who also appeared in Big Finish's first Doctor Who release The Sirens of Time) appears as the New Adventures stalwart Keri the Pakhar, hosting the radio broadcast. Both Bowerman and Mowat seem to enjoy the comic interplay, keeping the whole tale chugging along. Whether it's worth a second listen or not, this is nonetheless an enjoyable story.
The second of the two, written by Paul Cornell, is a story of Benny travelling back in time to confront the mother of a future dictator. She's given the choice of deciding whether to kill for the greater good, or stick to her morals regardless of the cost to future generations. Very different from Making Myths, this one is very much a dark and chilling tale because everything is based on fact. Once more, both Bowerman and Mowat are the only two actors involved, and their interaction here is fantastic.
Unfortunately, this freebie CD was actually a limited edition and is long since unavailable. However, this release does foreshadow many more original adventures for everyone's favourite archaeologist…